First- It's about time I announce the winner of Notoriety by A Wing And A Prayer:
Conratulations to Hotlanta Linda! Please email me so we can make arrangements.
Now, for my thoughts.
More than a revolution or a rebellion, I see the Outlaw Perfume Project as something along the lines of the Rally To Restore Sanity. The IFRA issue has been discussed to death and still makes absolutely no sense. Everything else in the universe, from food to household detergents, has labels that warn those with allergies of possible irritants. Thus, allowing us to make informed decisions and purchases, avoid peanuts or shellfish if they have the potential to kill us and stay away from things that may cause a reaction. So why not apply the same logic to perfume?
For the record, neither the Outlaw Perfumes nor any vintage formulation that contains hazardous materials such as citrus oil, rose absolute, jasmine absolute, oakmoss and others has ever caused me an allergic reaction. I do get itchy rashes from items like many household cleaners, Dove soap, Herbal Essence shampoo, several hair styling products and probably other things I can't recall right now. But never from perfume.
Yes, I know the answer is complex and has a lot to do with business decisions some of the big houses have lived to regret. Yes, most prominent perfumers work for the Big Boys, and at first refused to talk, especially on the record. But we're at the point their artistic freedom has been so limited, someone (I wish I saved the source and exact quote) said the restrictions are the equivalent of a painter being forbidden from using the color blue. Once again, what happened to sanity and common sense?
Apparently, with independent perfumers. The Natural Perfumer Guild spearheaded the Outlaw campaign and proved that real perfume is still alive and well. Other perfumer outside of the Guild, both natural/botanical artists and those who rely on the entire spectrum of materials, have been doing their thing with vision and integrity for years now and ignoring IFRA. Of course, this (and other factors) means their ability to sell and market their work might be limited, and this is where we, as perfume lovers, come into play.
As much as it's tempting to stock up and hoard vintage perfumes on all their rose and oakmoss goodness, the prices of those has been steadily climbing, sometimes to insane levels. Personally, I refuse to pay three figure prices for bottles that used to be readily available and never considered high-end or luxurious. Frankly, it also goes to former department store perfumes that all of a sudden have become a rarity. Instead, I'd rather pay real perfume artists for their often handmade creations. Those among them who use the best raw ingredients give us some of the most unique products on the market. This is true luxury and I have every intention to keep supporting them.
How about you?
Photo: Jane Russel posing for the movie poster of Outlaw, 1943, from firstordergoods.wordpress.com